A wide variety of conditions can make you more likely to experience dental cavities, which can lead to other health problems. Oral hygiene habits, genetics, pre-existing conditions, certain medications, and other factors can all affect your likelihood of developing a dental infection.
At Benson Dental in Sioux Falls, SD, we use evidence-based dentistry to help our patients prevent and control oral disease. Topical fluoride treatments can significantly reduce the chances of developing dental caries, which is why we recommend fluoride treatments for patients who are at higher risk. It’s important to remember that fluoride alone cannot prevent cavities, but fluoride is an integral part of a larger prevention plan for your oral health.
Who should consider fluoride treatments?
Not everyone needs extra fluoride treatments to prevent oral infection, but certain risk factors make it far more likely that a person will develop dental caries. Patients with the following risk factors and conditions may want to consider a fluoride treatment at their next appointment:
- Poor oral hygiene or poor diet
- Lack of regular dental care
- Current orthodontic treatment (braces), which makes it difficult to clean the teeth fully
- Higher-than-average bacteria levels in the mouth
- Deep pits or crevices in the teeth (especially the molars)
- Chronic dry mouth
- Tooth enamel defects or exposed root surfaces
Children as early as age six start getting their permanent adult teeth, but most children don’t realize the importance of caring for their teeth at a young age. Fluoride treatments can be a helpful tool for children and adults to maintain their long-term dental health.
How do fluoride treatments work?
Fluoride treatments have been used safely for years to protect tooth enamel and fight decay. Fluoride is crucial for developing strong bones and healthy teeth. Two types of fluoride can help protect your teeth: topical fluoride and systemic fluoride.
- Topical fluoride is fluoride applied to the outside of the teeth. Most toothpaste and some mouthwashes contain topical fluoride. Dr. Benson can also apply a professional fluoride treatment at your next appointment. Most dentists recommend this treatment twice a year for children and adults who are more likely to develop decay. Usually, after your cleaning, the dentist will apply a fluoride gel to the teeth for a few minutes.
- Systemic fluoride can also strengthen teeth. We consume systemic fluoride from foods and municipal water supplies, but you can also buy fluoride drops or supplements. It is possible to consume too much fluoride, so you should consult with a professional before using fluoride supplements.
Fluoride Treatments at Benson Dental
To learn more about fluoride treatments and other treatments to protect your teeth, contact our office in Sioux Falls, SD, today. One of our staff members will be happy to assist you.